The Assassination of Martin Luther King
On the 4th of April 1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated by the convict James Earl Ray. He was shot on his hotel balcony though his neck and spinal cord at 6:05 in the evening; he died an hour later in St Joseph’s hospital, Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 39. James Earl Ray was locked in a bathroom of a motel less than 200 feet away from where Martin Luther was standing. It is thought that he killed him to be remembered or because he was extremely racist. Martin Luther was staying in the Lorraine Hotel, Memphis to lead a non-violent march of sanitation workers protesting against low wages and poor working conditions. James Earl Ray grew up in the state Illinois; he was part of a poor family and had to move around a lot. He dropped out of school at 15 then went on to join the US army and served in Germany just after WW2 ended. James committed his first crime of a burglary and was convicted in California in 1949. This led to further convictions throughout his life: an armed robbery of a taxi driver in Illinois 1952 followed by a conviction of mail fraud for stealing money orders in Hannibal Missouri 1955 which led to a 3 year sentence in Leavenworth Federal Prison. James Earl Ray later escaped from the Missouri State Penitentiary in 1967 by hiding in a truck transporting bread from the prison bakery. Martin Luther was raised a Christian by his mother and believed in non-violent protests. His father was born a slave and so he was confronted with violence throughout his life. He believed that black and white people could live in harmony without conflict and violence. He took inspiration people like T booker Washington; who was an educator, biographer, auto biographer and race leader between 1856-1915, and Mahatma Ghandi. On the 28th of August 1963 Martin Luther led The March on Washington which saw 200,000 black Americans participate, it was the biggest demonstration the capital had ever seen. The march was organised by...
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